Recommendation Date
Recipient Name
Date Closed
On 26 February 2014 the Commission recommended to the Director of Civil Aviation that he apply stricter requirements upon holders of air operator certificates to take effective action to correct identified deficiencies, and that any serious safety issues that are identified with managerial oversight of airline operations always result in findings.
Reply Text
The Director accepts the Commission's recommendation and advises that effective action has already been taken to implement its intent. In this respect, it is noteworthy that the focus of the Commission's investigation primarily related to events in late 2011 and early 2013. Since that time the CAA has undergone considerable organizational change: a real focus of which has been to supplement its strong aviation technical expertise with an enhanced regulatory skill set. To this end it has recently invested considerable time and effort in articulating and strengthening its regulatory approach. This work started to take effect at about the same time as the Pauanui Beach runway overrun occurred and has subsequently both gained impetus and been consolidated. Examples of this investment include:

- significant changes to the CAA’s existing Surveillance Policy made in Sep 2011. Relevant to the second element of the Commission Recommendation, the following direction was introduced regarding the raising of findings: "When a document holder's performance falls below the required standard a finding will be raised";
- new 'CAA Use of Regulatory Tools' policy introduced on 23 Sep 2011. The new policy was created to provide guidance to CAA staff about the use of regulatory tools in discharging their obligations;
- new 'Regulatory Operating Model' adopted and promulgated by the CAA on 17 Feb 2012. The new policy was created to sit above the 'CAA Use of Regulatory Tools" policy and identify, at a high level, the overarching regulatory principles and approach the CAA adopts in discharging its obligations;
- [A consultant] has been engaged to up skill regulatory staff on good regulatory practice and operational risk management (workshops held May 2013 and Feb 2014). All senior regulatory staff, and the majority of all regulatory staff, have attended one of these seminars;
- the addition of Operational Risk Management and Safety Management System skills to the competency framework for regulatory staff. Development and the delivery of such training with the latest element of the training delivery commencing March 2012;
- internal review processes for regulatory functions ensure compliance with proper process and identify learnings that can drive improvement;
- review of the current risk profile 'triggers' for targeting oversight of any operator with action underway to move toward targeting of the upper quartile of the risk profile distribution (as opposed to utilizing fixed trigger 'scores' for this purpose); and
- the introduction of a risk-based approach to regulation that focusses attention on the circumstances of a particular case, the risks posed and the selection of the most appropriate regulatory intervention to provide the required risk mitigation.

The efforts outlined above constitute a significant strengthening and sharpening of the CAA's regulatory focus in the time since the overrun at Pauanui. While incremental improvement is always possible the CAA has invested considerably in providing its staff with the direction, guidance, skills and tools necessary for them to make sound, evidence-based decisions in the public interest.
Related Investigation(s)